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Sharks Have Been Leading on This Current Draft Trend Since ’90s



Terry Friesen (Credit: mark6mauno, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The San Jose Sharks have never drafted a goaltender in the first round. They’ve never even drafted a goaltender in the second round.

In fact, they’re the only active NHL franchise — except for the still relatively-new Vegas Golden Knights — to never draft a goalie in the first two rounds.

Yesterday at San Jose Hockey Now, we discovered this was no accident.

“We were never big on drafting goalies early,” Ray Payne, San Jose scout from 1990-94 and 1996-2004, said. “We had a lot of guys on our staff who were ex-goaltenders. Cap Raeder, Warren Strelow, Wayne Thomas. Their feeling, and it permeated throughout the staff, was we’re not going to take a goalie high. It’s just too much of a risk.”

Can you name the highest-drafted goalie in San Jose Sharks history?

TeamEstablishedHighest-Drafted GoalieRoundPick Draft Year
Anaheim Ducks1993John Gibson2392011
Arizona Coyotes1979Patrick DesRochers1141998
Boston Bruins1963Evgeni Ryabchikov1211994
Buffalo Sabres1970Tom Barrasso151983
Calgary Flames1972Brent Krahn192000
Carolina Hurricanes1979J.S.Giguere1131995
Chicago Blackhawks1963Jimmy Waite181987
Colorado Avalanche1979Jocelyn Thibault1101993
Columbus Blue Jackets2000Pascal Leclaire182001
Dallas Stars1967Jack Campbell1112010
Detroit Red Wings1963Jim Rutherford1101969
Edmonton Oilers1979Grant Fuhr181981
Florida Panthers1993Spencer Knight1132019
Los Angeles Kings1967Jamie Storr171994
Minnesota Wild2000Josh Harding2382002
Montreal Canadiens1963Ray Martyniuk151970
Carey Price152005
Nashville Predators1998Brian Finley161999
New Jersey Devils1974Martin Brodeur1201990
New York Islanders1972Rick DiPietro112000
New York Rangers1963Al Montoya162004
Ottawa Senators1992Mathieu Chouinard1151998
Philadelphia Flyers1967Brian Boucher1221995
Maxime Ouellet1221999
Pittsburgh Penguins1967Marc-Andre Fleury112003
San Jose Sharks1991Terry Friesen3551996
St. Louis Blues1968John Davidson151973
Tampa Bay Lightning1992Riku Helenius1152006
Toronto Maple Leafs1963Eric Fichaud1161994
Vancouver Canucks1970Troy Gamble2251985
Washington Capitals1974Olaf Kolzig1191989
Winnipeg Jets1999Kari Lehtonen122002

That would be Terry Friesen, taken with the 55th pick of the 1996 NHL Draft.

Besides the Sharks, only the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild have never selected a goalie in the first round. Regarding the Vancouver Canucks, while Troy Gamble is the highest-drafted netminder in franchise history, they did pick Cory Schneider 26th-overall in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft.

As it turns out, the San Jose Sharks, all the way back to the ’90s, were on the vanguard of the “don’t draft goalies high” trend that’s shaped the last decade or so of the NHL Draft.

For example, this past decade was the first decade that a netminder was not drafted in the top-10, since the inception of the modern NHL Draft in 1969.

Drafted Goalies by Decade1st-round PicksTop-10 PicksTop-31 Picks

As Payne pointed out, “It’s been proven over the years that some of the better guys are drafted later in the draft.”

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